Changing Colors for October’s Opal Birthstone

Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers has a large selection of opal jewelry ranging from vintage rings to vintage earrings.

Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers has a large selection of opal jewelry ranging from vintage rings to vintage earrings and more!

A change of season calls for a change of colors with October’s opal birthstone.

Opals, classified as precious gemstones and sedimentary stones, are formations of non-crystalline silica gel. Known mostly for their often brilliant color display, no two opals are alike due to a variable interplay in their internal structure.

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Little Boy Saves Quarters for Mom’s Birthday

Our youngest customers, 10 year-old Franco Cozza, and his sister, Isabella Cozza, saved up money for their mother's 50th birthday gift from Leo Hamel!

Franco Cozza and his sister Isabella saved up money to buy their mother’s 50th birthday gift from Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers!

A full piggy bank can go a long way towards getting a diamond for Mom!

Here at Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers, we recently had the pleasure of serving two of our youngest customers, Franco and Isabella Cozza, who had diligently saved a little over $100 to help pay for their mother’s 50th birthday present.

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On Bended Knee for the Perfect Proposal

This Hearts On Fire® Sensation 0.94 ctw diamond engagement ring will be awarded to the winner of Leo's Perfect Proposal contest!

This Hearts On Fire® Sensation 0.94 ctw diamond engagement ring will be awarded to the winner of Leo’s Perfect Proposal contest!

It’s the moment that many people dream about their whole lives—that moment that their soul mate will drop to one knee to propose marriage. But how did the tradition of proposing on bended knee come to be?

Though the origin is still unknown, kneeling in front of a woman during a marriage proposal became customary during the time of chivalry and knighthood. At the time, bowing was an established tradition for a knight in order to show obedience to his master or mistress. Similar to bowing to royalty or to a victorious enemy, kneeling during a marriage proposal would elevate the woman to a superior position as the man revealed his humility.

The implication behind this gesture continues today as the kneeler offers themselves completely to their partner, providing the intended with the opportunity to determine the ultimate fate of their relationship by saying “yes!”  Continue reading

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The History Behind a Fabergé Egg

Fabergé

Fabergé egg in San Diego’s Leo Hamel showroom.

It’s more than just a colorful Easter egg.

For nearly 130 years, the world has been mesmerized by the beauty and history hidden behind the famed Fabergé egg. Often dressed in gold and adorned with diamonds and gemstones, Fabergé eggs have become an artistic icon to Russian culture and a symbol of the imperial Romanav family. Continue reading

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Shades of Sapphires for September

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Gaze into the deep blue this September with the beloved sapphire birthstone!

A variety of the mineral corundum, sapphire is the second hardest gemstone next to diamonds.  Although it’s commonly thought that  sapphires form exclusively in their recognizable blue hue, they actually occur in all nearly colors of the rainbow including white, green, pink and yellow. Corundum gemstones with a vivid red tint, however, are identified as the sapphire’s sister stone, the ruby.

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The Phases of a Blancpain

Blancpain WatchBlancpain 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

All watches can tell time, but how about one that shows you the phases of the moon while also accounting for leap years, completely automatically and mechanically?

Blancpain’s perpetual calendar watches do it all!

The mechanical memory in a Blancpain watch with a perpetual calendar can automatically store and display the day, date, month and current moon phase perpetually, without any manual correction. A miniscule satellite gear wheel takes exactly four years for its calendar to finish a complete rotation before it causes the watch to display February 29 to mark a leap year.

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Picking the Wedding Day For a Victorian Bride

3338_325After every wedding proposal comes the inevitable question, “When are you getting married?”

For most couples, choosing a date can be quite stressful. What colors do you want? Is a specific vendor available that day? Will it be an outdoor or indoor affair? All of these questions become an influencing factor to actually setting the date.

Though some brides choose a date that has a special meaning behind it, many brides base it off of more logistical reasons such as weather and travel arrangements, as well as vendor availability and financial reservations. Summer months, therefore, are usually favored for weddings with June being the most popular wedding month.

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The Making of Jay-Z’s Hublot “Big Bang” Watch

 Hublot Big Bang watch

Beyoncé definitely wanted her husband to make a “big” statement and wear a watch with a “bang!”

Back in December, hip-hop mogul Jay-Z was gifted a $5 million, one-of-a-kind Hublot “Big Bang” watch by his superstar wife, Beyoncé.

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Think Green with August’s Peridot Birthstone

Loose Peridot gemstones

Be green with envy of August babies with the peridot birthstone!

A gem-variety of olivine, peridot is composed of two minerals: fayalite and forsterite. Iron, which is rich in fayalite, is the causing factor of peridot’s plush, green color. Commonly mined in Egypt, China, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Red Sea, and Mexico, the peridot gemstone is also mined within the U.S., specifically Hawaii and Arizona. However, its most ancient sources originate from St. John’s Island off the coast of Egypt. Known to the ancient Hebrews, peridot also has biblical references and was later used by Europeans after the Crusades to embellish churches and cathedrals.

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Memento Mori

021Memento Mori, in Latin means “Remember your mortality” or “Remember you will die.”  It reminds people of their mortality, and to live a good life because death can strike without any warning.

Mourning dress was expressed in the 17th and 18th centuries but it wasn’t until the death of Prince Albert in 1861 that it became popular.  Queen Victoria proceeded to wear mourning dress and a piece of his hair for the next 40 years and required her court to do the same.  This soon filtered down to all the classes as an expression of dignity, respect and momento mori.  There were different stages and lengths of morning depending on your relationship to the deceased.  Mourning dress had become a fashionable practice and women were quite interested in wearing attractive dress and jewelry.

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